31 December 2013

30 December 2013

A low key end to 2013

A busy work schedule,  nasty cold and some lousy weather meant a very low key end to 2013.

24 December 2013

Christmas 2013 #3

I had a quick look in Goryokaku Park this lunchtime and the flock of Crossbill was still about, they ven left the tops of the trees for a minute or 2 to drink some snow on the cherry blossom trees.

They moved very quickly and it was difficult to get a clear shot.

I hope they stick around, they are without doubt my favourite bird.

Not much else in the park. the moat is now frozen. The only other birds were a few Coal Tit and a male Grey Headed Woodpecker. All stayed high up in the trees.

So another soulless christmas in Hokkaido. My usual christmas eve is spent hammering mulled wine and expensive beer whilst listening to old christmas hits on youtube. I've just come down with a cold however so I may not even bother doing that.............

Liverpool. Top of the Premier Laegue at christmas! Didn't think that would happen. At all.
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23 December 2013

Christmas 2013 #2

A drake Harlequin Duck in one of the ports in Sawara this morning. There wasn't much in the port. just the above (with a female) and 3 Black Necked Grebe. It was very dark and the water very choppy.

22 December 2013

Christmas 2013 #1

Lots of eagles at Yakumo today but my hoped for shot (them feeding in the river) never materialized...............actually we did see lots close by in the river but they fly off as soon as the camera and lens is cocked. Usually I see them, they see me (in the car)................we all freeze for a moment.............then off they go.................and I say "oh s**t"...................

The above and below one were both taken with the 1.4 teleconverter. The top on was on a tripod, this one wasn't.

21 December 2013

A quiet Saturday afternoon............

Glaucous and Glaoucous Winged Gulls at Kamiiso this afternoon.

There were 7 species of gull present but these 2 are always the most interesting to me. They seemed like exotic northern invaders to me when I first arrived here.Actually both are pretty common in winter. They do evoke the cold north though. Hokkaido is far to the south of Lancashire but is also far colder.

This December has been pretty mild though, only a bit of snow around. Also at Kamiiso were 4 Great Egret, a small flock of 10 or so Brent Geese, Scaup, Goldeneye, Goosander and Wigeon. Near my apartment the only thing of note was a flock of 20 or so Crossbill high up in the trees in Goryokaku Park yesterday.

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17 December 2013

500mm goes BIFing

Some eagle shots from yesterday in Yakumo. It was a strange day weatherwise: rain, sunshine but no snow and surprisingly mild.

My new lens got its first BIF workout although the eagles were a little shy.

Although the eagles were all mixed in together, the White Taileds seemed commoner upstream, could it be the Stellers get the prime (undisturbed) stretches of the river?

15 December 2013

Another Sunday, another owl.

A bitterly cold Sunday afternoon with not much birding to be done in south Hokkaido. This Ural Owl posed well at least, a different one from a couple of posts ago.

11 December 2013

Out east

 One of many Glaucous Winged Gulls in Menagawa the other day. We headed east out of town, there are some small fishing ports there that sometimes have interesting stuff.

Lots of Harlequin Ducks for example.

8 December 2013

Back in an old hole

A Ural Owl in Onuma this afternoon. It was in an old hole, the first time I'd seen it in there in ages. Out of the 4 holes in Onuma I know this is the one that has the clearest view. These pics are taken on a tripod and with the 1.4 teleconverter. It was also pretty much the only time I've ever used liveview to take photos and whilst I was messin around with the settings the owl barfed up a pellet, the only interesting thing it did and of course I missed it.

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